People and Principles
By taking care of ourselves, we learn to take care of others, and vice versa. Deciding when, how and why to do this is the question. Be open to everyone, or say no when you need to? Embrace ideals and principles, or nurture our needs in the here and now? Yes, all of that!
When is the
NEW MOON in CANCER
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Jun. 28, 2022, 10:52 PM EDT
Jun. 29, 2022
12:22 AM NDT
Jun. 29, 2022, 3:52 AM BST
Jun. 29, 2022, 12:52 PM AEST
So: how are you? How are you holding up? It's been a rough couple of years since the pandemic began, with lockdowns and new variants, and now supply chain issues and so on. How have you been taking care of yourself?
Who has been, or is, your support system in tough times? Who or what can you turn to if you need some extra support? When was the last time you got or gave a hug? When was the last time someone told you they're glad you're in their life? When did you last tell someone that your life is better with them in it? It doesn't have to be in words – maybe a brief gesture, a glow in their eyes, calling to ask how you're doing, commiserating with the stress of so much change happening in the world.
In truth, it's been wild, rocky road for a few years. Several years. Okay, a couple of decades or so. Maybe you even feel wistful for pre-millennium days. Even good changes can be stressful because you have to adjust, and that takes energy, focus and relearning. No matter why the change, our feelings and needs get bumped up to a higher pitch and priority.
At the same time, we also need to stretch ourselves and grow, to become more of the best person we're able to be right now, and to find a sense of meaning in our lives, no matter the circumstances. How do we balance personal needs with spiritual needs?
That's why self-care has become paramount in the last few years. That includes seeking out others who can give you support, love, nurturing, approval and belonging, as well as learning how to give these things to yourself especially when you're not getting enough from others.
Bonding with the Great Mother
You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.
~ Carl Sagan, Contact
At this New Moon we're in the sphere of Cancer. Here, comforting connection is a treasured gift – caring about others and/or being cared about by others, and learning to care for yourself as you would a precious loved one. This includes giving yourself permission to say no or take space when you need to, as well as respecting the boundaries of others when they need to take a step back.
Any New Moon is a time when a fresh month-long cycle begins, whose energy is ignited within the energy of the New Moon's sign. In this case that's Cancer, the Moon's own sign, so it's like having a double-dose of Moon. This is a time of taking stock of whether your needs are being met, whether those you care about are getting their needs met, how to take better care of yourself and others, and how you want others to take care of you.
Cancer is the archetype of nurturing – the Great Mother, on a broad scale. (No pun intended.)
Do you feel like a Child of the Universe? Do you feel mothered or smothered? Do you feel you belong to/with someone(s), or more like you're on the outside looking in? Do you feel the grace of approval from those close to you, or do you feel you're always fighting an uphill battle against judgment or disapproval? Do you feel the urge to get closer to someone or to step away?
Since the Moon herself is the ruler of this lunation cycle, her aspects, qualities and features in the New Moon chart take on extra importance. We can start with the Moon's conjunction to the Sun (pretty much the definition of a New Moon), which in Cancer will merge our lunar need to belong with our solar drive to express who we are within the context of that belonging.
The Moon is Out of Bounds (OOB) by declination (June 26 to July 1, peaking half a day after the New Moon is exact). An OOB Moon can feel like you're a bit detached from the world around you. That doesn't have to be a bad thing – it could be a relief from feeling smothered or held back, leaving you free to actualize your full potential. On the other hand, you might feel unsupported or even abandoned at a time when you long for a sense of connection and belonging.
Jupiter Square the New Moon
Like love, the light or guidance of truth that influences us exists only in living form, not in principles or rules or expectations or advice, however widely circulated.
~ Alan Watts
The Sun-Moon conjunction has a tight square aspect to Jupiter in Aries – all at 7° of their respective signs. The square aspect (90°) indicates conflict or change or both. There is a conflict of interest happening, especially between Water-sign Cancer's feeling nature and Fire-sign Aries' adventurous nature. Cancer wants to connect and belong, whereas Aries needs to be independent and free. Cancer usually reaches out for bonding with others, whereas Aries wants to be self-directing and autonomous.
Jupiter is generally about principles, morality, spirituality, philosophy, justice, and implementing these as a way of life. When placed in Aries, on one hand this can indicate the urge to fight for what is (believed to be) right. On the other hand, this isn't necessarily done in a democratic or inclusive way, but instead can become dogmatic or over-confident, certain that one's own opinions are the only valid ones which makes everyone else wrong.
Archetypally, Cancer is specifically associated with motherhood and generally oriented toward the family – uniting a group of people through bonds of mutual caring, perhaps a shared history, overlapping interests, and a sense of loyalty to those in one's inner circle. When contrasted with Jupiter in Aries, a conflicted sense of priorities may ensue – principles versus people, ideals versus alliance, independence versus interdependence.
The more constructive side of this conflict can be the urge to take action that seeks to elevate the motives and spirit of interpersonal connection. The bonded group (family, friends, support system, etc.) could accomplish something greater than itself, more than merely protecting its own safety and interests.
Venus in Gemini steps in to intervene in the altercation between Jupiter and the Sun-Moon conjunction, forming an aspect pattern that Huber Astrology calls a Small Learning Triangle. By joining hands with all of them, she is in a position to act as mediator to help them find common ground and hopefully a more evenly-tempered tone of voice to talk to each other with.
Venus is exactly sextile Jupiter (just 2 minutes of orb!), which encourages Jupiter to be more tender and merciful, and less prone to harsh snap judgments. Venus is also exactly semisextile the Sun and Moon (just 6 minutes of orb), which invites us to understand our emotional state through objective appreciation instead of just marinating in those feelings. Since Venus is in Gemini, she brings a sense of curiosity, seeking information and balanced understanding.
Pallas-Athene, Algol, and Political Upheaval
Athene and Medusa were originally two aspects of the Libyan snake goddess Neith. Yet, ...she was portrayed in Olympian times as having helped to destroy her matriarchal roots. Yet, for all who have eyes to see, Athene still flaunts the mark of her authentic nature, the head of Medusa, in the centre of her breastplate.
~ Demetra George, Asteroid Goddesses
On a more mundane level, Jupiter also represents judges and legal decisions. The square aspect (90°) is associated with conflicts and actions that create change, sometimes by force. As I write this, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has just announced it has struck down the constitutional right to abortion that has been in effect since the Roe v Wade decision almost 50 years ago. To no one's surprise, this decision has stirred up and amplified enormous controversy, protest, division, and passionate argument.
No matter which side of the issue you're on, it's fascinating to see how astrology reflects what is happening in the world around us. Although this decision was handed down 4 days before the New Moon, the Sun itself has been within orb to square Jupiter since around the Solstice (June 21st). By the time the Moon catches up to the Sun on the 28th, reactions and responses to this will no doubt be in full swing.
There are other noteworthy features of the New Moon chart that lend their energies to this controversial legal decision. One is that asteroid Pallas Athene is tightly conjunct the fixed star Algol (respectively, at 27:09 and 26:28 in Taurus). The latter featured prominently in the recent New Moon in Gemini (May 30) and the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio (May 16). The Pallas-Algol conjunction has only one pass which became exact just the day before the Cancer New Moon.
The Algol star is known as the Eye of Medusa, who in mythology could turn to stone all who caught her gaze. Astrologically, Algol can intensify whatever it touches and bring us to the threshold of that which feels too terrible to face, acknowledge or accept.
Athene in mythology was the goddess born from her father Zeus' head, so she is cerebral, strategic and wise. In the patriarchal world, she may represent what it's like to be a woman who can survive in a man's world without being shackled by its gender rules and stereotypes.
In that sense, Pallas-Athene could be seen as representing women's independence or perhaps the fight for it. Birth control and authority over her biological functions are part of independence for women, and the birth control pill was a huge factor in the advancement of feminism in the 60s and 70s. It's interesting to note that the mythological Athene birthed no children of her own, although she was a foster mother.
There is also a fascinating connection between Athene and Medusa. Athene punished Medusa for having relations with Poseidon in Athene's temple. Medusa's hair turned to snakes and those who looked upon her were turned to stone. Athene then aided Perseus in killing Medusa by decapitating her. Athene then mounted Medusa's head on her breastplate.
It all seems an odd story. One way to interpret it is that Medusa symbolizes the rage and shame that anyone feels when they are violated, blamed, exiled, and lose control over their lives—for any reason. Perhaps the myth teaches us that only way to ultimately deal with that intensity of anguish and madness is to let it out so that you can eradicate it and let it go. In so doing, one can transform and harness it in a way that it can be used by choice in a constructive, empowering way. Many psychotherapies are based on that kind of principle. As the saying goes, "You gotta feel it to heal it."
A Very Busy Mars
We are only just beginning to understand the power of love because we are just beginning to understand the weakness of force and aggression.
~ B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
There's another alignment in the New Moon chart that suggests an energy level bouncing somewhere between lively and explosive wildfire. Dwarf planet Eris is closely square to Pluto (2:51 orb). That's not new – they've been within a 5° orb of this square aspect since 2018 and will remain there until 2023 (floating in and out of that orb for a year or so before and after).
What is different right now is that Mars is super-tightly conjunct Eris and closely square Pluto in the New Moon chart. This is important because Mars often acts as a trigger to ignite any tinder lying around, and Eris is famous for her love of causing trouble, upheaval and commotion.
So combustible situations could escalate suddenly or dramatically under this kind of alignment. That said, Mars effects often peak sooner than the transit becomes exact, so it's possible that difficult situations may simply play out rather than bringing in something new.
Mars is now exactly parallel Chiron, which echoes their exact conjunction at the Full Moon in Sagittarius (June 14). This continuing energy suggests that assertiveness, use of force, or mustering of courage may have an element of (over)compensating for (what feels like) a lack of these. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but how you go about it can help or hinder the outcome you're aiming for.
On one hand, this can be a time when you can discover and fortify those qualities in a healing way that is based on empowerment (rather than power-over), bravery (rather than reckless bravado), and authentic aspiration (rather than oppressive ambition).
On the other hand, it could also be a time of wielding force in a wounding way, that looks more like busting boundaries (rather than working with them), destructive action (rather than strategic response), or aggressive coercion (rather than heartfelt assertiveness).
With all this in mind, it's important to remember that Mars also rules that Jupiter who is busy arguing with the New Moon in Cancer. Therefore, Mars' interactions with Eris, Pluto and Chiron are likely to influence the Jupiter-Sun/Moon square, possibly making it more intense or unpredictable.
If a situation contains a significant amount of upset or controversy going into this New Moon, Mars may well fan the flames. On the down side, this could result in an amplified or exaggerated sense of hubris, condemnation or resentment. On the up side, this may provide an upsurge of courage, confidence or conviction that helps you accomplish something difficult.
Neptune's Background Sunrise
You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.
~ Roman Payne
Neptune is stationary, having turned retrograde just hours before the New Moon is exact. This stationary condition makes Neptune's influence especially vivid and pervasive. (Think of it like sunlight shining on a piece of paper through a magnifying glass – when you keep the light focused in the same place for a minute or so, the paper can burst into flames!)
So, the New Moon skies are essentially permeated by a magnificent display of sunrise colours and textures. Although beautiful, Neptune's influence could either enhance or distract from our ability to work constructively with the New Moon energies. As with all things, Neptune has its pluses and minuses.
On the plus side, Neptune can inspire a sense of being part of Something Greater Than Yourself, which can feed our human need for connection to the universe around us. On the minus side, Neptune is ambiguous and hard to clarify, and it's not easy to tell what is fantasy and what is reality, what is wishful thinking and what is authentic experience of that Something Greater.
Neptune plays an important role, somewhat like Venus does with Jupiter and the New Moon. Neptune is sextile Pluto and semisextile Mars, which forms a Small Learning Triangle. In other words, Neptune becomes the mediator for the Mars-Pluto square.
With Mars and Pluto, we have the two planetary rulers of Scorpio giving each other the stink-eye. Pluto in traditional Capricorn wants to use its power to maintain stability and ensure that the best of the past is not left behind (or, in a more extreme way, can insist that the Powers That Be of the Old Order preserve their control over all within their realm). At odds with this agenda is Mars in Aries who wants to discover new experiences, generate change, and keep things moving (or, as an extreme, wants to break down the barriers put up under Capricorn).
Pluto and Neptune have a very unusual combined cycle, where they remain in a long-term sextile or trine relationship (60° or 120°) stretched out over about 80 years. These are called the Long Sextile and the Long Trine. We are currently in a Long Sextile period whose exact passes start in 1950 and end in 2032.
The details about this cycle belong in a much longer article, but the point here is that the Neptune-Pluto sextile in the New Moon chart is part of a MUCH longer process. Neptune's creative imagination and quest for embracing a sense of Oneness combines with Pluto's raw depth and quest to transform that which is past its shelf life into something new and vital.
Neptune's semisextile to Mars urges us to take our anger, ambition and actions, and reach beyond our familiar experience of these so that we can elevate them into something more pure, more sacred, more idealized.
However, we are also warned that Neptune's love of illusions could lead us to mistake a more sullied version of Pluto and Mars energies for something more sublime. The lesson here is to question what you think you know about power, force and aggression – to challenge your assumptions enough to see beyond the surface but not so much that you get caught in the ebb tide of cynicism.
Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.
~ Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit—Will Travel
The Sabian Symbol for the New Moon is Cancer 8: Rabbits dressed in clothes and on parade.
Original illustration (by Edmund Evans) from the Peter Rabbit children's book series (by Beatrix Potter).
Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) saw this Sabian Symbol as depicting the way we gravitate to others who have already achieved what we are trying to – hence the idea of a "lower" life form (rabbits) imitating a "higher" one (humans).
Since this is a Cancer zodiac degree, it is linked to the instinct about the nurturing parent. As in the children's book illustration (at right), we may also be assisted in this quest by a mother-like figure who nurtures us to grow in a certain direction.
This Symbol seems to ask: what do you need right now to help you grow into the person you are trying to become? Do you feel your support system is fulfilling that need? What is missing that you could perhaps provide by mothering yourself? What kind of mother are you being to yourself?
Alternatively, who are you nurturing in your life? Are you mothering or smothering? Can you clearly see their promise as fully actualized individuals, and are you able to convey that image to them? Or, if there is tension between you lately, is it possible you see them only as "less-than" – just dressed up animals – and are unconsciously projecting that message to them? How can you focus yourself and them on a more positive view of themselves?
The next update will be for the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13, 2022. Meanwhile, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️
This is to mother you
To comfort you and get you through
Through when your nights are lonely
Through when your dreams are only blue
~ This Is To Mother You, by Sinead O'Connor
© 2022-06-26 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider by sipa202 via Pixabay.com. Photo of sunrise over water by Quino Al via Unsplash.com. Original illustration by Edmund Evans for Peter Rabbit series children's book by Beatrix Potter, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.